Since the 17th century, liberalism has been one of the sources of political progress in the West. Liberalism is a philosophy based on ideas of liberty and quality. Liberalism is hard to define due to the term being used to describe ideas, parties, movements and practices in different societies and different historical periods. The core values of liberalism are individualism, rationalism, freedom, justice and toleration . Liberalism is one of the most powerful ideologies shaping Western Politics. Early Liberalism showed the goals of the fast rising middle class and this have linked liberalism and capitalism. Liberalism has dominated political ideas for almost two decades since the 1970s but the liberal demand of limiting powers of the state has made it seem more radical. In the mid 19th century, Alexis de Tocqueville a historian warned of the dangers of extreme individualism. In this essay, I shall begin by explaining the types of liberalism and close on how they have all changed over the course of the 20th century.
Classical liberalism is a political ideology that advocates the freedom of individuals within a system. This was developed in the 19th century in Western Europe and America, beginning in Spain and France and soon spread to England; it advocated specific kind of society and public policy required as a result of the industrial revolution and urbanization. Notable Classical liberalists include David Ricardo, Jean Baptiste Say and Thomas Malthus. In the 19th century, classical liberalism in the structure of economic liberalism, praise the virtues of the laissez-faire capitalism and condemned all forms of state intervention. Classical liberalism was built on the foundation of the economist A...
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...ose the government intervention in the free market, which allows for free trade and competition. Adam Smith who advocates for minimal interference of government in a market economy is believed to have fully formulated the theories in support of economic liberalism. These theories began in the 18th century with the claim that if everyone were left alone economically instead of being controlled by the government, the result would however then be harmonious and equal. This supported the move towards a capitalist economic system during the late 18th century and the eventual end of the mercantilist system. The early economic liberal theory was based on the assumption that the economic actions of people are largely based on invincible hand and that allows them to act without restrictions resulting to best results provided that no one should be allowed to coerce or steal.
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